New Marion County judge already working to improve roads

YELLVILLE, Ark. - Wayne Templet, who lives on Thousand Oaks Drive near Yellville, Arkansas, has said for years the road needed to be fixed.

Templet said, "This road was so bad. The potholes were so deep. UPS refused to come down it. The school bus refused to run the road. One of the fire departments damaged a vehicle on these roads years ago."

The road is not a county road, but anyone can drive on it.

Terry Ott was the county judge at the time, and the road department did some work on the road a few years ago, but people who live along it said he didn't take care of the worst part.

Ott said back in September, "They did some maintenance on that. I have done a courtesy grade on that road also. However you're setting yourself up for a liability."

But now Judge John Massey is sitting in that seat.

Massey said, "We up there working on those today trying to get a courtesy grade to try to get those people in and out."

Now just after one courtesy grade, the road is completely different.

Templet said, "Now with the road fixed, people don't have to go around through Yellville to go to Flippin. They can come straight through Thousand Oaks. The school bus can run and drop off kids. They did yesterday afternoon after the road was fixed."

Poor road conditions were a big push to why Massey ran against Ott in the primaries in the first place.

Massey said, "My road got so bad, and I was disrespected when I tried to get it worked on. I felt like someone needed to step up and show respect to the community and the people who pay the taxes and try to get their roads fixed."

And he's trying to stick to his campaign promises while only being in office for nine days.

He said, "We're going to try to help every taxpayer in Marion County if we can."

Templet said, "He said he would do it, and he kept his word. He's a man of his word."

But Massey said he will not be working on private roads or county roads with gates across them.

Massey said, "I don't want any of my grader operators to have to carry special keys for special people. We're going to grade the roads that are open and go from there."

He said he will try to help as many public and county roads as he can, but it will take some time.